Once one of the richest cities in the world, Cerro Rico mine in Potosi, Bolivia kept Spain running for 300 years. Working conditions were horrible, and still are that it’s known as “the mountain that eats men.” Laborers were forced to work 18-20 hour days, eating nothing but coca leaves and beans all day, all without pay. Although these days working in the mine is more of a choice, my two hour experience crawling and climbing, shuffling and slipping through tiny tunnels filled with dust, shattered me, and left a part of me with the miners who work here.

Once one of the richest cities in the world, Cerro Rico mine in Potosi, Bolivia kept Spain running for 300 years. Working conditions were horrible, and still are that it’s known as “the mountain that eats men.” Laborers were forced to work 18-20 hour days, eating nothing but coca leaves and beans all day, all without pay. Although these days working in the mine is more of a choice, my two hour experience crawling and climbing, shuffling and slipping through tiny tunnels filled with dust, shattered me, and left a part of me with the miners who work here.

The planet does not need more ‘successful people’. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds. It needs people to live well in their places. It needs people with moral courage willing to join the struggle to make the world habitable and humane and these qualities have little to do with success as our culture is set.
— Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Valparaiso, Chile is an explosion of texture and color. Wandering the city is like a treasure hunt, inspiration at any turn and at every corner.

One of the things I love about 70s Brazilian music is how it can sound simultaneously familiar and foreign at the same time. The familiarity is a result of the heavy influence of British and American music but it’s still foreign in the way these musicians melded it with their own musical traditions and culture. For me, it provides a hint of the same excitement that comes from traveling.

This mixtape compiled by Brazilian artist, Penabranca, is a great example of that experience. It is a surprisingly smooth blend of folk, soul, psychedelia, brit influenced pop, rock and traditional Brazilian music. Let this be an introduction, if you haven’t already discovered Brazilian music, which I hope will capture your imagination the way it has mine.

"Everyone who has travelled by primitive methods in an undeveloped country knows that the difference between that kind of travel and modern travel in trains, cars, etc., is the difference between life and death. The nomad who walks or rides, with his baggage stowed on a camel or an ox-cart, may suffer every kind of discomfort, but at least he is living while he is traveling; whereas for the passenger in an express train or a luxury liner his journey is an interregnum, a kind of temporary death.” 

- George Orwell

(Source: wandering-between-worlds, via agentpeachk)

Life as One Beautiful Creative Act

I’m attempting to make my life, in as many ways as possible, a beautiful, creative act. This is such a multi-faceted idea to me, and takes many forms. It could be the simple act of making a colorful, handmade meal from scratch. It is the connections we form, the community, support, inspiration, and collaboration we find with our friends, neighbors, family, and with people all over the world. It’s in how we dress and accessorize, how we decorate and inhabit our home, the notes we write and the music we hear, sing, and dance to.

I believe deeply that the best way to serve the world is to fully, and without reservation, become the happiest, truest version of yourself.

Do what inspires you, what makes you feel fulfilled, and do it now.

"live life."

Eco-Volunteering in South America

“We do not own the world, but the world owns us; we are guardians of nature’s assets, not owners.”

=========================

In 2014, Tanner and I will be giving up our jobs and our home for travel and adventure in South America.

In effort to help preserve and give back to the natural wonders we visit and to promote sustainable change, we will be donating our time and efforts to volunteer in wildlife protection and sustainable agricultural projects scattered throughout the continent.

Our plan is to spend at least 2 months in the Amazon rainforest volunteering with wildlife rescue centers where we will look after endangered animals like monkeys, cats, tapirs and parrots that have been rescued off of deforested land or from black market animal trafficking. 

We will spend at least 1 month volunteering on organic farms to learn and explore methods in sustainable farming and eco-construction while also involving the local children and community in learning about environmental issues.

During our stay we would like to contribute as much as possible to these organizations and so we are calling upon our family, friends, and friends of friends to help us help them. 

If you would like to assist us in supporting these causes, please donate. All the money we raise will be divided and passed on to each of the organizations directly and not our travel expenses. 

These organizations are non-profit and volunteer-based and rely on donations and volunteer fees to survive. No donation is too little or too much, every penny would go to a great cause and your help would mean a lot to us and the wildlife you’d be helping us to protect. 

==================================================
Who are you helping?
==================================================

image

Inti Wari Yassi

Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) is a Bolivian non-governmental organization dedicated to rescuing, caring for and rehabilitating sick, mistreated and abandoned wildlife. There are several species of monkey, sloths, pumas, jaguars, ocelots, tehons and an expanding bird center that works with toucans, parrots, and other bird species. CIWY also teaches Bolivians about the importance of leaving wildlife in its natural habitat and the negative effects of the animal trade. 

The organization is run by permanent staff and supported by the generosity and hard work of international volunteers. Volunteer work can vary from construction, administration and local education programs to working directly with all the species in the park.

http://www.intiwarayassi.org/

image

Rio Muchacho

Rio Muchacho is a working organic farm nestled in a small valley on the coast of Ecuador that is open to all volunteers who want to learn about eco-practices and sustainable living. The farm demonstrates a combination of organic agriculture, permaculture, traditional moon cycles, alternative energy, recycling, and reuse. The farm promotes sustainable community development by means of local participation in tourism, production of crafts with local materials and creation and coordination of an environmental primary school. 

The main project of the farm is The Community Environmental School which serves 40 children, ages 4-13. The aim of the school is provide a good broad education and raise students awareness on environmental issues. Supported by parents and the organic farm, tourists, friends, family and volunteers the school fosters an understanding of how future generations can manage their natural resources sustainably.

http://www.riomuchacho.com/

Merazonia

Merazonia is a dynamic rescue and rehabilitation centre for trafficked and abused Amazonian animals, located in Mera, Ecuador.

Animals confiscated by the Ministry of Environment and the police, are brought to Merazonia. The organization cares for monkeys, kinkajous, cats, other mammals and parrots. Volunteers help care for the animals, as well as continue to construct enclosures and trails to improve the center. Merazonia works on both rehabilitating and providing release programs for the animals. If animals are too injured or imprinted for this, they will give them a chance to live as naturally and comfortably as possible.

http://www.merazonia.org/

==================================================

Thanks for much for taking the time to read this. We are excited to have this opportunity to contribute and to be able to raise money and see it directly impact the organizations and the animals we are volunteering with. We truly appreciate any thing you can do for us whether it be donating or spreading the word to people you know.

Muchas gracias!

<3 Roxanne & Tanner

==================================================
DONATE HERE
http://www.gofundme.com/roxanner-volunteering
==================================================

Real talk people, I cannot understand how education is not a priority.  Without it what kind of future will this country have?  What kind of future will we have?

Real talk people, I cannot understand how education is not a priority.  Without it what kind of future will this country have?  What kind of future will we have?

A self portrait
The problem is… You have a separation mindset.
You see yourself as being separate from everyone around you. You view people you don’t know with this “me vs. you” outlook.
Everyone can connect with each other in one way or another… All you need to do is stop looking for the disconnects and you will begin to see.

A self portrait

The problem is… You have a separation mindset.

You see yourself as being separate from everyone around you. You view people you don’t know with this “me vs. you” outlook.

Everyone can connect with each other in one way or another… All you need to do is stop looking for the disconnects and you will begin to see.

“Don&#8217;t you think it would be wonderful to get rid of everything and just go some place where you don&#8217;t know a soul?” ―Haruki Murakami
(Photo: Gazing at the Bayon Temple in Angkor, Cambodia)

“Don’t you think it would be wonderful to get rid of everything and just go some place where you don’t know a soul?” ―Haruki Murakami

(Photo: Gazing at the Bayon Temple in Angkor, Cambodia)

The way the sun felt on my skin, the soft breeze in my hair, the way your skin touched mine gently. The view of that magical island in front of me, the deep blue ocean crashing beneath me. The feeling among it all that despite the chaos in the world, beauty exists where you choose to see it, when you choose to acknowledge it, and it stays in you, however long you want it to.

Photos:
Top - Looking out at Koh Koun from Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia.
Bottom - Hippocampus Kuda Seahorse found by house reef in Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia.

There is a fundamental reason why we look at the sky with wonder and longing - for the same reason that we stand, hour after hour, gazing at the distant swell of the open ocean. There is something like an ancient wisdom, encoded and tucked away in our DNA, that knows its point of origin as surely as a salmonid knows its creek. Intellectually, we may not want to return there, but the genes know, and long for their origins - their home in the salty depths. But if the seas are our immediate source, the penultimate source is certainly the heavens … The spectacular truth is - and this is something that your DNA has known all along - the very atoms of your body - the iron, calcium, phosphorus, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and on and on - were initially forged in long-dead stars. This is why, when you stand outside under a moonless, country sky, you feel some ineffable tugging at your innards. We are star stuff. Keep looking up.
— Jerry Waxman (via astral-travel)

(Source: sleep-like-wolves)

The morning after&#8230;
How do you pursue truth in a world where truth is lost? I find truth in the lyrics of a song, in a novel, in nature, alone, in moments with those that I love. Then as the night turns to morning, I fear the truth will slip away. The world takes it. The morning gets to it. It is only in the strong-willed that it can prosper. But never easily. For it is rare for us to not only see the truth but to live it. I find myself trying to convince and sell the beauty of this forgotten life. Where has it gone? Will it ever win?

The morning after…

How do you pursue truth in a world where truth is lost? I find truth in the lyrics of a song, in a novel, in nature, alone, in moments with those that I love. Then as the night turns to morning, I fear the truth will slip away. The world takes it. The morning gets to it. It is only in the strong-willed that it can prosper. But never easily. For it is rare for us to not only see the truth but to live it. I find myself trying to convince and sell the beauty of this forgotten life. Where has it gone? Will it ever win?